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What’s the Best WordPress Website Host?

The key to a successful website is hosting. With the right WordPress website host, your site performance will drastically improve.

There are dozens of hosting companies or web hosts available in the market, and most of them offer attractive features such as unlimited bandwidth and unlimited disk space. However, the truth is that not all WordPress website host providers are alike, nor do they function the same way.

Running an online business or website can be a headache if you fail to select the right hosting company. In addition to shared, managed, and VPS hosting, choosing the right hosting plan can be challenging for new and existing businesses alike.

How to Choose a WordPress Website Host

In addition to performance, purchasing agents and managers should choose a WordPress website host that can quickly and satisfactorily answer the following:

  • How easy is it to reach support by phone or live chat? 
  • Do they offer 24/7 assistance? 
  • Is the customer support team qualified?
  • Do they offer features such as free SSL certificates, backups, email accounts, and a money-back guarantee?

7 Elements of a Managed WordPress Hosting Provider

WordPress Website Host

Hosting Plan Price

Most people choose a web host based on price. Be aware that cheap solutions aren’t always the best choice, especially not long-term. Shared hosting is the cheapest. It’s also the slowest, most insecure, and often unreliable.

Security

Your site needs to be protected from cyber-attacks by a reputable hosting provider. Any website—be it a small blog site used occasionally or a big business e-commerce store—requires web hosting security that ensures the asset remains secure and the data protected.

Server Reliability and Uptime

Slow websites and excessive downtime are common problems in shared hosts. Choosing a web host with suitable hardware and solid network connections that run on powerful servers is crucial.

Client Service

A web host’s customer service is essential because things go wrong in tech, and the business will need support from the host. A competent team at a managed WordPress hosting provider like Siteground is always available and responsive when you need them most.

Performance and Features

Before you review a web host’s features, be sure to understand what website features you’ll need. For example, if your website gets lots of traffic, contains large assets like images and videos, or markets to a large geographic audience, a built-in CDN would be helpful, such as at WP Engine. 

Plugin Compatibility

Since plugins add additional features to WordPress, they are essential for every WordPress site. It’s important to be careful with plugins, as many are bulky, unreliable, and insecure.

Control Panel

The control panel should be easy to navigate and understand, even if you’re not a web developer. Here is where your developer installs the CMS, sets up website backups, installs the security certificate, and activates a migration plugin. This is true for most managed WordPress website host C-panels.

Managed vs. Shared WordPress Hosting

Shared WordPress hosting is good for small blogs or website that isn’t expected to have a large audience in volume or geography.  They are the cheapest and often the shiniest. Still, I urge you to avoid the temptation if you’re a professional organization that needs a fast, reliable, and secure WordPress website host.

Hosting providers handle all the IT work to ensure that your site is fast, secure, and easy to use, including:

  • Automatic daily backups
  • On-demand backups
  • Core WordPress updates
  • Staging area for building and testing sites
  • Malware removal and scanning
  • Patches and security updates
  • 24/7 premium support

Comparison of the best WordPress hosting providers

Some web hosts offer one-click WordPress installation, which does not necessarily make them the best choice for WordPress hosts.

Regardless of the host you choose, remember to look for these three statistics in your list of host options:

  1. Less than 890 milliseconds for loading
  2. An average of 99.94% uptime
  3. Premium WordPress customer support

Various hosting companies promise fast connections and fast speeds. Here are a few my partner and I work with regularly, along with their pros and cons:

1. SiteGround

Without SiteGround, a list of best WordPress hosting would be incomplete. In the WordPress community, the company has made a name for itself.

SiteGround hosting offers servers specifically optimized for WordPress, plus they offer managed WordPress hosting at unheard-of price points.

SiteGround is one of the few hosts that WordPress recommends. Let’s look at the pros and cons of this host.

Pros:

  • Google Cloud-powered fast servers
  • Excellent customer service
  • One-click WordPress installation
  • Backups, SSL, and CDN for free
  • Tools for easy staging
  • Free website migration tool

Cons:

  • There is no free domain

2. WP Engine

For website owners interested in taking a hands-off approach to managing their websites, WP Engine is one of the best-managed WordPress hosting services available.

A managed WordPress hosting service like WP Engine provides the best uptime, high-performance hosting environment, real-time threat detection, and numerous premium features. 

People looking to handle their web hosting in a hands-off manner immediately think of WP Engine as their managed hosting service. Although WP Engine is pricier than the other hosts, the quality of the servers is unbeatable. 

Pros:

  • Fast loading speed
  • High-level security
  • Exceptional performance
  • Excellent customer service
  • An effective staging environment
  • Transferable installs

Cons: 

  • Hosting only for WordPress
  • Domains and email hosting not available
  • Rigid pricing

3. Bluehost 

Bluehost, which hosts over 2 million WordPress sites worldwide, is an industry leader in the web hosting space.   

Lots of new sites are built using Bluehost as their provider. In addition to the free domain name, you can install WordPress with just one click when you sign up for hosting.

Registering a domain and downloading WordPress can be completed in one step. Additionally, their shared WordPress hosting is one of the most affordable options on the market.

Hosting for WordPress starts at just $2.95 per month with Bluehost. You will need to sign a 3-year contract to get the best deal. I highly recommend you avoid doing this.  While this is a good starter host, I would urge you to avoid a 3-year contract if you wish to grow the website into a high-traffic and geographically expansive asset. 

Pros:

  • Affordability
  • Domain for free
  • CDN + SSL for free
  • Excellent customer service
  • One-click WordPress Install

Cons:

  • Domain renewals are more expensive
  • Regular speed concerns when building and editing pages
  • Shared resources make them a shared host, but they market themselves as a managed host; this is a bit ‘shady’ for my taste

4. Flywheel

This Managed WordPress hosting provider is one of the most popular options available, and it’s easy to see why. They provide a fantastic set of features for both small and large businesses.

Important to note, WP Engine bought Flywheel. WP Engine will keep Flywheel to target a different audience.  Flywheel will continue to target web designers and small businesses, while WP Engine will target developers, WordPress web development agencies, and medium or large companies. 

Flywheel offers a wide range of tools for freelancers and designers. Consider this WordPress website host if you are looking for a provider to help you manage multiple web design or development projects.

Pros:

  • Great security
  • Has WordPress-specific features
  • Excellent support service
  • Stable, fast performance
  • Multiple advanced features

Cons:

  • Pricey compared to some competitors, especially if you plan to host multiple sites

5. HostGator

Hosting company HostGator is one of the biggest in the WordPress hosting industry. They market themselves as managed, but they mean something different than we do. They mean someone takes care of the maintenance and “manages” the server responsibilities.  They have been in this market for several years, and their affordable prices and good uptime records have won them many clients.

HostGator’s single-click installers can still get WordPress set up in the dashboard despite not having many WordPress-specific features on their entry-level plans.

HostGator offers live chat support 24/7. Although HostGator’s large user base can cause long wait times. And, because it is shared hosting, they throttle resources aggressively, leading to slow load speeds and website performance issues. 

Pros:

  • SSL and domain names for free
  • Free business emails
  • Install WordPress in one click
  • Money-back guarantee of 45 days

Cons:

  • Increased monthly pricing
  • Up-selling is aggressive

Consider using a WordPress-optimized hosting plan if you run a WordPress website. The best managed WordPress host will depend on your needs; however, I highly recommend either SiteGround, WP Engine if you’re a larger business and Flywheel if you’re a smaller one.

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